While Samsung promised to offer the serious health monitoring feature on its new watch when it was officially unveiled in August, it revealed that it wouldn’t be available at launch. According to SamMobile, ECG along with the Watch Active 2’s fall detection feature will be available in the US first in Q1 2020. So, that’s the first few months of next year.
Essential reading:What is ECG? The tech explained
It’s not major surprise to hear that ECG support will take a bit of time to roll out. Just like Apple, Samsung would need the necessary regulatory approval from different regions to be considered suitable to offer reliable insights into your heart health. In the US, it will need to get the thumbs up from the FDA for instance.
Samsung’s fall detection feature will not require the same sort of approval, though the company may want to ensure the feature works without issue before it’s offering a way for people to raise an alarm if they have a bad fall.
It’s the ECG feature though, which will be the most interesting addition to Samsung’s smallest smartwatch. Especially when the same feature has already appeared on the Apple Watch Series 4 and has already been responsible for helping owners of the smartwatch detect serious heart related problems.
As a reminder, ECG or an electrocardiogram measures electrical activity produced by the heart as is contracts. This electrical activity is then sent to a receiver that records the information, and this is where the heart’s rhythm can be analysed and irregularities can be detected. It’s considered more reliable than the kind of light-based optical heart rate sensors found on most wrist-worn wearables as there are less factors that can impact on a reliable reading.
The Galaxy Watch Active 2 launches in South Korea on 6 September and will land on 23 September. Those ECG and fall detection features won’t be activated, but we’ll be keen to see if Samsung has managed to come up with another great smartwatch.